In January, as people try to stick to New Year’s fitness resolution, gym memberships usually spike. But this year, gyms in Colorado are struggling to bring members back.
“January, February and March are typically the three months when we bring in new members, more money to help us succeed and help us plan out the rest of the year,” said Paula Neubert, general manager at Club Greenwood and a founding member of the Colorado Fitness Coalition.
The Coalition says under Level Red restrictions on Colorado's COVID-19 dial, Colorado could have lost 200 gyms and 22,000 jobs. Now, the coalition is trying to help more gyms become certified under the state’s 5 Star program, which allows businesses in Level Orange counties to operate at the Level Yellow. That means they can increase capacity if they meet certain health standards.
Rich Jost, an owner of several Planet Fitness franchises, said the Five Star program helped them boost capacity at five locations to 25 percent. He hopes that will continue to increase.
“We’re very thankful to Gov. Polis for recognizing that gyms are clean and safe to come back to,” Jost said.
While Jost said most gyms are following strict health guidelines, the businesses are dependent on counties to apply for the 5 Star program. Neubert said the Colorado Fitness Coalition is offering support to counties that want to apply.
“Our plea the whole time has been exercise is essential, therefore health clubs and fitness facilities are essential,” Neubert said.